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Friday, January 27, 2012

Think about the possibilities......

I know I've written on this topic before but today I'm feeling the need to explain our past feelings up until now about special needs. We were initially afraid of adopting children with special needs. Our first adoption search was strictly about one male child around age eleven with minimal needs. I know what it was......our feelings weren't afraid of a child with special needs, it was the unknown, lack of experience and education around children with more needs. The profile package looked like a life changing situation that would spiral our family into chaos. We questioned, "How would we go camping, boating or traveling?" "What would it look like for the rest of our children changing our family dynamics that way?" Somewhat unfair we thought. I love all our children but looking back now, knowing what we know, how we feel - we would have started adopting children with more special needs from the beginning. Of course this is a life time commitment, in fact it is with any child. Just simply some need more assistants than others. I find our children with minimal needs can be more challenging then our children with more special needs because of different behaviors. I will state, children grow and undiagnosed disorders surface later so if anyone is thinking about adopting a child with "minimal special needs" they can be surprised and hopefully the adoptive parents understand this before adopting. I personally believe this is where adoption break-downs occur is when parents are under the impression they adopted a perfect child. Here is my enlightenment, all our children are perfect to us! Do you know why? Because we dedicate our days to routine, to structure and our tolerance is short for chaos. Our children have come a long way and I'm very proud of them. Another enlightenment is everyone has special needs in one form or another. There is so many children in care that need adopting with moderate to severe special needs that I wish we started adopting those children from our beginning. I wouldn't trade our family because I now think this way but I will advocate for children waiting with more severe needs. How can I explain this..........without sounding redundant. Our children have changed our lives yes, in a good way. Our life is never boring, it's full of surprises, we have more laughter then the average family and all our children are developing the one personality trait I like to see most - compassion. We have fourteen children that have or will become adults with more acceptance for others differences because we live it. We acknowledge special needs not as a handicap but a normalcy and belief that with persistence you can do anything. Our family is a prime example that anything is possible. We camp, we boat, we travel, we will provide the necessary equipment or what it takes for our children to experience life to their fullest. This is when we see growth is when a child is not restricted because of their needs. For my husband and I, all our children bring us much joy. Even our dependant daughters gives us more then we could ever ask for - their love, their beautiful innocence and joy for life is a teaching for us to just relax and be happy for what is. Our life isn't for everyone but if you're considering to adopt, waiting to adopt, ask yourself if you can open your home and heart to a special needs child? You will be pleasantly surprised that that child/children will change your life for the better. Educate yourself, surround yourself with children that have special needs, come visit us! With writing this post I don't want to make it sound "easy" but it's a consideration if you can and can dedicate your life. If we could, we probably would adopt more children in our future. We didn't build a big home for nothing and we already have four almost adult children speaking of venturing on their own.......one already has. I do know it will be a child/children with higher special needs. In fact, I still have this one boy age thirteen/fourteen with CP located near always on my mind. Anyone interested? Think about his possibilities given after adoption!

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